雅歌 8:6-7 愛は死のように強く、ねたみはよみのように激しいからです。その炎は火の炎、すさまじい炎です。大水はその愛を消すことができません。もし、人は愛を得ようとして、自分の財産とことごとく与えても、ただのさげすみしか得られません。

This is certainly a very strong view of love, but such love cannot be categorized by the Greek terms used since New Testament times. That's probably a good thing, actually, because sometimes being overly analytical can destroy the thing you are trying to analyze. Throughout Song of Solomon the context is certainly romantic love, with all the associated hormones. Anyone with a good memory of their teenage years, or who currently lives with a teenager, can certainly understand the image in this passage of a raging fire! However, as the Bible as a whole makes very clear, love is far more than hormones. It is debatable whether the flames spoken of here refer to love or to jealousy, but the point can be made that they are two sides of the same coin. We sometimes forget that the Bible is very clear that God is a jealous God, which means that He cannot abide our running after other things in preference to Him. True love desires the very best for the beloved, and insists on it. One point that is made here is sadly being discounted in some situations, and that is that love can't be bought. In English it's easy to get confused on this point, since sex is often referred to as “making love,” but whereas sex can be bought, love can't. “Gold digger” is an English expression for someone who marries for money, but that can never lead to true happiness.


In one way and another I am constantly involved with love. Not only am I happily married (41 years and going strong), I am charged with helping people understand the love of God for them and to love Him in return. Likewise, I often counsel couples on how husbands and wives are to relate to each other. The multifaceted nature of love can make that difficult to do at times! Whereas “Love is not a feeling, it's an act of your will” is very true on one level, love has a very intimate connection to the emotions. I need to help people understand that whereas emotion isn't necessarily love, love will generate emotion. If people feel neutral toward God, they haven't learned to love Him yet. That's one reason the marital relationship is specifically stated to represent the relationship of Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5) I am called not just to explain love in all its levels but to demonstrate it, in all purity, because so many people have only seen it in some badly distorted form.


Father, once again I have outlined a task that is far beyond my natural ability. Help me love You, first and foremost, and then express Your love accurately and appropriately to my wife and to each person I encounter. I have not completely escaped the world's pollution, and I need Your constant care to keep me pure. I ask that You pour Your Spirit through me to give others a revelation of Your love, so that they may let go of whatever has held them back and respond fully to You, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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